Eero Vaara: "A discursive perspective on strategic processes and practices"


EMLYON Business School

Eero Vaara is Professor of Management and Organization at Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland, and permanent Visiting Professor at EMLYON Business School, France. He is also a Distinguisehd visiting scholar at Lancaster University and Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School. His research interests focus on strategy and strategizing, organizational change, multinational corporations and globalization, management education, and methodological issues in management research. He has worked especially on discursive and narrative perspectives.


1992 Helsinki School of Economics (MSc)

1993 Helsinki University of Technology (MSc)

1999 Helsinki School of Economics (PhD)


Professor of Management and Organization, Aalto University School of Business

Permanent Visiting Professor, EMLYON Business School

Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Lancaster University

Adjunct Professor, Copenhagen Business School

Member of Editorial Board of Academy of Management Discoveries, Organization Studies, Organization, Nordiske Organisasjonsstudier, Scandinavian Journal of Management, Série K d’Economies et Sociétés, Strategic Organization and Strategic Management Journal


Managing the Research Process

Strategy, Organisational change, Qualitative research, Discourse and communication analysis, Internationalization and globalization, nagement education, philosophy of science


  • MBA - Mergers and Acquisitions course
  • Ph.D. - Critical thinking course


  • Organizational change (mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, shutdowns)
  • Discourse and communication in strategy and strategizing
  • Critical perspectives on MNCs and globalization
  • Methodological and epistemological issues in management and organization research



‑ Burgelman, Robert A., Floyd, Steven W., , Laamanen, Tomi, , Mantere, Saku, , Vaara, Eero, , Whittington, Richard. 2018. Strategy processes and practices: Dialogues and intersections.Strategic Management Journal, 39 (3): 531-558 p.

‑ Graebner, Melissa E., HEIMERIKS, Koen H., , Huy, Quy N., , Vaara, Eero. 2017. The Process of Postmerger Integration: A Review and Agenda for Future Research.Academy of Management Annals (the), 11 (1): 1-32 p.

‑ Ocasio, William, Laamanen, Tomi, , Vaara, Eero. 2017. Communication and Attention Dynamics: an Attention-Based View of Strategic Change.Strategic Management Journal, FORTH

‑ Sarala, Riikka M., Vaara, Eero, , Junni, Paulina. 2017. Beyond merger syndrome and cultural differences: New avenues for research on the “human side” of global mergers and acquisitions (M&As).Journal of World Business, FORTH

‑ Balogun, Julia, Fahy, Kathryn, , Vaara, Eero. 2017. The interplay between HQ legitimation and subsidiary legitimacy judgments in HQ relocation: A social psychological approach.Journal of International Business Studies, FORTH

‑ Vaara, Eero, LAMBERG, Juha-Antti. 2016. Taking historical embeddedness seriously: Three historical approaches to advance strategy process and practice research.Academy of Management Review, 41 (4): 633-657 p.

‑ Vaara, Eero, SONENSHEIN, Scott, , BOJE, David. 2016. Narratives as Sources of Stability and Change in Organizations: Approaches and Directions for Future Research.Academy of Management Annals (the), 10 (1): 495-560 P.

‑ LAAMANEN, Tomi, LAMBERG, Juha-Antti, , Vaara, Eero. 2016. Explanations of success and failure in management learning: What can we learn from Nokia's rise and fall.Academy of Management Learning and Education, 15 (1): 2-25 P.

‑ KROON, David, Cornelissen, Joep P., , Vaara, Eero. 2015. Explaining Employees' Reactions towards a Cross-Border Merger: The Role of English Language Fluency.Management International Review, 55 (6): 775-800 P.

‑ CORNELISSEN, Joep P., Durand, Rodolphe, , FISS, Peer, , LAMMERS, John C., , Vaara, Eero. 2015. Putting Communication Front and Center in Institutional Theory and Analysis.Academy of Management Review, 40 (1): 10-27 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero. 2014. Struggles over legitimacy in the Eurozone crisis: Discursive legitimation strategies and their ideological underpinnings .Discourse & Society, 25 (4): 540-565 P.

‑ VESA, Mikko, Vaara, Eero. 2014. Strategic ethnography 2.0: Four methods for advancing strategy process and practice research.Strategic Organization, 12 (4): 288-298 P.

‑ PELTOKORPI, Vesa, Vaara, Eero. 2014. Knowledge transfer in multinational corporations: Productive and counterproductive effects of language-sensitive recruitment.Journal of International Business Studies, 45 (5): 600-622 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, Balogun, Julia, , JACOB, Claus. 2014. Placing Strategy Discourse in Context: Sociomateriality, Sensemaking, and Power.Journal of Management Studies, 51 (2): 175-201 P.

‑ CORNELISSEN, Joep P., MANTERE, Saku, , Vaara, Eero. 2014. The Contraction of Meaning: The Combined Effect of Communication, Emotions, and Materiality on Sensemaking in the Stockwell Shooting.Journal of Management Studies, 51 (5): 699-736 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, JUNNI, Paulina, , SARALA, Riikka M, , EHRNROOTH, Mats, , KOVESHNIKOV, Alexei. 2014. Attributional Tendencies in Cultural Explanations of M&A Performance.Strategic Management Journal, 35 (9): 1302-1317 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, REFF, PEDERSEN Anne. 2013. Strategy and chronotopes: a Bakhtinian perspective on the construction of strategy narratives.M@n@gement, 16 (5): 593-604 P.

‑ Monin, Philippe, NOORDERHAVEN, Niels, , Vaara, Eero, , KROON, David. 2013. Giving Sense to and Making Sense of Justice in Postmerger Integration.Academy of Management Journal, 56 (1): 256-284 P.

‑ MANTERE, Saku, AULA, Pekka, , SCHILDT, Henri A., , Vaara, Eero. 2013. Narrative attributions of entrepreneurial failure.Journal of Business Venturing, 28 (4): 459-473 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, Faÿ, Eric. 2012. Reproduction and Change on the Global Scale: A Bourdieusian Perspective on Management Education.Journal of Management Studies, 49 (6): 1023-1051 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, Whittington, Richard. 2012. Strategy as practice: Taking Social Practices Seriously.Academy of Management Annals (the), 6 (1): 285-336 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, PELTOKORPI, Vesa. 2012. Language policies and practices in wholly owned foreign subsidiaries: A recontextualization perspective.Journal of International Business Studies, 43 (9): 808-833 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, Durand, Rodolphe. 2012. How to connect strategy research with broader issures that matter?.Strategic Organization, 10 (3): 248-255 P.

‑ RIAD, Sally, Vaara, Eero, , ZHANG, Nathan. 2012. The intertextual production of international relations in mergers and acquisitions.Organization Studies, 33 (1): 121-148 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, Sarala, Riikka M., , STAHL, Günter, , Bjorkman, Ingmar. 2012. The impact of organizational and national cultural differences on social conflict and knowledge transfer in international acquisitions.Journal of Management Studies, 49 (1): 1-27 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero. 2011. On the importance of broader critique: Discursive knowledge production in management education.British Journal of Management, 22 (3): 564-566 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, RIAD, Sally. 2011. Varieties of national metonymy in media accounts of international mergers and acquisitions.Journal of Management Studies, 48 (4): 737-771 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, Faÿ, Eric. 2011. How can a bourdieusian perspective aid analysis of MBA education ?.Academy of Management Learning and Education, 10 (1): 27-39 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne. 2011. On the narrative construction of multinational corporations: An antenarrative analysis of legitimation and resistance in a cross-border merger.Organization Science, 22 (2): 370-390 P.

‑ Balogun, Julia, Jarzabkowski, Paula, , Vaara, Eero. 2011. Selling, resistance and reconciliation: A critical discursive approach to subsidiary role evolution in MNEs.Journal of International Business Studies, 42 (6): 765-786 P.

‑ SCHILDT, Henri A., MANTERE, Saku, , Vaara, Eero. 2011. Reasonability and the linguistic division of labor in institutional work.Journal of Management Inquiry, 20 (1): 82-86 P.

‑ Sarala, Riikka M., Vaara, Eero. 2010. Cultural differences, convergence, and crossvergence as explanations of knowledge transfer in international acquisitions .Journal of International Business Studies, 41 (8): 1365-1390 P.

‑ Monin, Philippe, Vaara, Eero. 2010. A Recursive Perspective on Discursive Legitimation and Organizational Action in Mergers and Acquisitions.Organization Science, 21 (1): 3-22 P.

‑ ERKAMA, Niina, Vaara, Eero. 2010. Struggles over legitimacy in global organizational restructuring: A Rhetorical perspective on legitimation strategies and dynamics in a shutdown case.Organization Studies, 31 (7): 813-839 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, BJÖRKMAN, Ingmar, , BARNER-RASMUSSEN, Wilhelm. 2010. Towards crossvergence, micro-level approaches and critical perspectives: introduction to the special issue on new perspectives on international management research.Scandinavian Journal of Management, 26 (4): 417-420 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, SORSA, Virpi, , PALLI, Pekka . 2010. On the force potential of strategy texts: a critical discourse analysis of a strategic plan and its power effects in a city organization.Organization, 17 (6): 685-702 P.

‑ JOUTSENVIRTA, Maria, Vaara, Eero. 2009. Discursive (de)legitimation of a contested Finnish greenfield investment project in Latin America.Scandinavian Journal of Management, 25 (1): 85-96 P.

‑ Durand, Rodolphe, Vaara, Eero. 2009. Causation, counterfactuals and competitive advantage.Strategic Management Journal, 30 (12): 1245-1264

‑ Vaara, Eero, SORSA, Virpi, , PALLI, Pekka . 2009. Strategy as text and discursive practice: a genre-based approach to strategizing in city administration.Discourse & Communication, 3 (3): 303-318 P.

‑ MANTERE, Saku, Vaara, Eero. 2008. On the Problem of Participation in Strategy: A Critical Discursive Perspective.Organization Science, 19 (2): 341–358 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne. 2008. A Discursive Perspective on Legitimation Strategies in Multinational Corporations.Academy of Management Review, 33 (4): 985-993 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero. 2007. Book Review: On New Directions in Strategy-as-Practice Literature.Organization, 14 (2): 303-306 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, KAKKURI-KNUUTTILA, Marja-Liisa. 2007. Reconciling opposites in organisation studies: An Aristotelian approach to modernism and post-modernism.Philosophy of management, 6 (1): 97-114 P.

‑ LAINE, Pikka-Maaria, Vaara, Eero. 2007. Struggling over subjectivity: A discursive analysis of strategic development in an engineering group .: SageHuman Relations, 60 (1)

‑ BJÖRKMAN, Ingmar, STAHL, Günter, , Vaara, Eero. 2007. Cultural differences and capability transfer in cross-border acquisitions: the mediating roles of capability complementarity, absorptive capacity, and social integration .Journal of International Business Studies, 38 (4): 658-672 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne, , LAURILA, Juha. 2006. Pulp and Paper Fiction: On the Discursive Legitimation of Global Industrial Restructuring.Organization Studies, 27 (6): 789–810 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, AINAMO, Antti, , TIENARI, Janne. 2006. Between West and East: A Social History of Business Journalism in Cold War Finland.Human Relations, 59 (5): 611-636 P.

‑ TIENARI, Janne, Vaara, Eero. 2005. The contested terrain of globalization: Review and Conceptual clarifications for management studies..Liiketaloudellinen Aikakauskirja,

‑ Monin, Philippe, Vaara, Eero. 2005. Les synergies illusoires dans les fusions et acquisitions: autopsie du Théranostique chez BioMerieux-Pierre Fabre.Gérer et Comprendre, 82: 37-49 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, ANGWIN, Duncan. 2005. Connectivity in Merging Organizations: Beyond Traditional Cultural Perspectives.Organization Studies, 26 (10): 1445-1453 P.

‑ Monin, Philippe, BEN, FATHALLAH Ouafa, , Vaara, Eero. 2005. Conflits de normes de justice distributive dans les fusions entre égaux: Le cas de BioMérieux-Pierre Fabre.Revue Française de Gestion, 31 (158): 145-162 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, KURONEN, Marja-Liisa, , TIENARI, Janne. 2005. The Merger Storm Recognizes No Borders: : An Analysis of Media Rhetoric on a Business Manoeuvre .Organization, 12 (2): 247-273 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne, , SANTTI, Risto, , PIEKKARI, Rebacca. 2005. Language and the Circuits of Power in a Merging Multinational Corporation.Journal of Management Studies, 42 (3): 595-623 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, Soderberg, Anne Marie, , HOLGERSSON, Charlotte, , TIENARI, Janne. 2005. Gender and National Identity Constructions in the Cross-Border Merger Context.Gender, Work and Organization, 12 (3): 217-241 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, PIEKKARI, Rebecca, , SANTTI, Risto, , TIENARI, Janne. 2005. Integration or disintegration? : Human resource implications of a common corporate language decision in a cross-border merger .International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16 (3): 330-344 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero. 2004. Book Review: Strategic alliances as social facts: Business, biotechnology and intellectual history, Mark de Rond, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2003.Journal of International Business Studies, 35 (1): 75-77 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne. 2004. Suomalaiset, ruotsalaiset ja yritysjärjestelyt : Miten kulttuurit eletään todeksi ja miten niitä voi yrittää johtaa.Liiketaloudellinen Aikakauskirja, 53(1): 92-108

‑ TIENARI, Janne, HUHTINEN, Aki-Mauri , , Vaara, Eero, , SYRJANEN, Minna. 2004. Björn Wahlroos, suomalainen johtaminen ja sotilasdiskurssi.Hallinnon tutkimus, 23 (2): 41-54 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, KLEYMMAN, Brigit, , SERISTÖ, Hannu. 2004. Strategies as Discursive Constructions : The Case of Airline Alliances.Journal of Management Studies, 41 (1): 1 - 35 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero. 2003. Post-acquisition integration as sensemaking : Glimpses of ambiguity, confusion, hypocrisy, and politicization.Journal of Management Studies, 40 (4): 859-894 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne, , BJÖRKMAN, Ingmar. 2003. Knowledge transfer around "best practices" : A sensemaking perspective.Nordiske Organisasjonsstudier, 5 (1): 37-57 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne, , ERKAMA, Niina. 2003. Ne glider in! Yritysjärjestelyiden metaforisesta rakentumisesta tiedotusvälineissä.Liiketaloudellinen Aikakauskirja, 52 (2): 288-310 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne, , RISBERG, Annette. 2003. Making sense of a transnational merger: Media Texts and the (re)construction of power relations .Culture and Organization, 9 (2): 121-137 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne, , SANTTI, Risto. 2003. The international match: Metaphors as vehicles of social identity building in cross-border mergers.Human Relations, 56 (4): 419-451 P.

‑ TIENARI, Janne, Vaara, Eero, , AINAMO, Antti. 2003. Liikkeenjohdollisten oppien ja organisaatiouudistuten maastouttaminen: taijasana muutos..Liiketaloudellinen Aikakauskirja, 02(03): 311-333

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne, , BJÖRKMAN, Ingmar. 2003. Global capitalism meets national spirit: Discourses in media texts on a cross-border acquisition .Journal of Management Inquiry, 12 (4): 377-393 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne, , Soderberg, Anne Marie, , MERILÄINEN, Susan. 2003. We need more women In managerial jobs: Gender equality and management in the nordic context: deconstruction and critical perspectives.Comportamento Organizacionale e Gestao, 9 (2): 147-161 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero. 2002. On the discursive construction of success/failure in narratives of post-merger integration.Organization Studies, 23 (2): 213-250 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, TIENARI, Janne. 2002. Justification, legitimization, and naturalization of mergers and acquisitions: A critical discourse analysis of mediat texts..Organization, 9 (2): 275-304

‑ HELLGREN, Bo, LOWSTEDT, Jan, , PUTTONEN, Liisa, , TIENARI, Janne, , Vaara, Eero, , WERR, Andreas. 2002. How Issues Become (Re)constructed in the Media: Discursive Practices in the AstraZeneca Merger.British Journal of Management, 13 (2): 123-140 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero. 2001. Role-bound actors in corporate combinations: a sociopolitical perspective on post-merger change processes.Scandinavian Journal of Management, 17 (4): 481-509 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero. 2000. Constructions of cultural differences in Post-Merger change processes: A sensemaking perspectives on Finnish-Swedish cases.M@n@gement, 3 (3): 81-110 P.

‑ KURONEN, Marja-Liisa, TIENARI, Janne, , Vaara, Eero. 2000. "Päättyykö Meritan viidakkoretki?" Kielitieteilijän ja organisaatiotutkijan tulkintaa muutoksen sosiaalisesta rakentumisesta.Virittäjä, 104 (4): 518-541 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero. 1999. Cultural differences and post-merger problems: Misconceptions and cognitive simplifications.Nordiske Organisasjonsstudier, 1 (2): 59-88 P.

‑ TIENARI, Janne, Vaara, Eero, , KAIHUA, Katja. 1999. Eli miten yritysjärjestelyä käsitellään suomalaisessa lehdistössä.Hallinnon tutkimus, 18 (3): 232-250 P.

BOOKS (10)

‑ COOREN, François, Vaara, Eero, , LANGLEY, Ann, , Tsoukas, Haridimos. 2014. Language and Communication at work: Discourse, Narrativity and Organizing. Perspectives on Process Organization Studies - Vol 4. 376 P.

‑ SUOMINEN, Kimmo, MANTERE, Saku, , Vaara, Eero. 2011. Toisinajattelua strategiasta johtamisesta.: WSOY 181 P.

‑ Golsorkhi, Damon, ROULEAU, Linda, , Seidl, David, , Vaara, Eero. 2010. Cambridge Handbook of Strategy as Practice.: Cambridge University Press 368 P.

‑ SORSA, Virpi, PALLI, Pekka , , Vaara, Eero, , PELTOLA, Katja. 2010. Strategia mahdollisuutena ja rajoitteena kuntaorganisaatiossa: Kielestä, kommunikaatioista ja vallasta.: Hanken School of Economics 126 P.

‑ BARNER-RASMUSSEN, Wilhelm, Bjorkman, Ingmar, , EHRNROOTH, Mats, , KOVESHNIKOV, Alexei, , MAKELA, Kristiina, , Vaara, Eero, , ZHANG, Ling. 2009. Cross-border competence management in emerging markets: Voices from China and Russia.: Hanken School of Economics 100 P.

‑ FELLMAN, Susanna, KUUSTERA, Antti, , Vaara, Eero. 2008. Historical perspectives on corporate governance: Reflections on ownership, participation and different modes of organizing.: Finnish Society of Science and Letters 284 P.

‑ Lerpold, Lin, Ravasi, Davide, , Van Rekom, Johan, , Soenen, Guillaume, , Monin, Philippe, , Rouzies, Audrey, , Vaara, Eero. 2007. Organizational identity in practice. New York: RoutledgeTaylor & francis XI + 259 p.

‑ Vaara, Eero, Soderberg, Anne Marie. 2003. Merging across borders: people, cultures and politics.: Copenhagen Business School Press 281 P.

‑ Vaara, Eero, MANNIO, Pekka, , YLÄ-ANTTILA, Pekka.. 2003. Our path abroad: exploring post-war internationalization of Finnish corporations .: Taloustieto 460 P.

‑ Soderberg, Anne Marie, Vaara, Eero. 2003. Merging across borders : People, cultures and politics. Copenhague: Copenhagen Business School Press 281 p.

Read about executive education

Other experts

Biography Professor Geoffrion is the author of more than 60 published works, initially on mathematical programming and its applications, including topics in decomposition techniques for special structures, duality, integer programming, Lagrangean relaxation and multi-criterion optimization. He ha...
Bio Elisa Zuliani is the Academic Director, Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting Program and an Associate Professor of Teaching Stream in Accounting at Rotman. She is a Chartered Accountant (CA) who has worked in both public practice and within industry. Her teaching focuses on financial a...
Mark Anner is an Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, and Political Science, and he is the Director of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights. He also directs the School’s Master’s Program in Labor and Global Workers’ Rights, which is a part of the Global Labour University networ...